Other Intellectual Property Laws Applicable to IT Components: Topographies of Semiconductor Products or Chips

AutorProf. Dr. Isabel Hernando
Cargo del AutorOther Intellectual Property Laws Applicable to IT Components: Topographies of Semiconductor Products or Chips

Topographies of Semiconductor Products or Chips.

Computer chips or integrated circuits are the brains or memory of high technology products which can be found in a wide range of industrial sectors, such as in automation, computing, communications, the military and space programs.

The protection provided to semiconductor products is determined by national laws, and by international agreements[22] and Community Directives[23] that provide for specific protection based on intellectual property principles for limited periods of time (for example, 8 years or 10 years) and introduce concepts of limited reverse engineering and reciprocity.

  1. Definition

    The expressions used have been defined and interpreted under various national laws and by the applicable international bodies. Thus, 'topography' is defined as a series of interconnected images, regardless of the manner in which they are affixed or encoded, which represent the three-dimensional structure of the layers that form the semiconductor product, and where each image depicts the structure or part thereof of one of the surfaces of the semiconductor product in any of its phases of manufacture.

    The term 'semiconductor product' refers to the final or intermediate form of any product: (1) that consists of a substrate that includes a layer of semiconductor material; (2) that has one or more additional layers of isolating conducting materials, or semiconductors, arranged in a predetermined three-dimensional structure; and (3) the purpose of which is to fulfill, exclusively or jointly with other functions, an electronic function.

  2. Object of Protection

    The object protected is the physical configuration expressed in any form. The protection encompasses each phase of the process of manufacture of the semiconductor product. This protection, however, does not include the concepts, procedures, systems, techniques or encoded information incorporated into its topography. The topography is the object of protection to the extent that it is the result of the intellectual effort of the creator and is not common to the semiconductor...

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